Allergan’s Botox® brand of the wrinkle relaxer botulinum toxin type A remains the world leader with something on the order of a billion dollars in annual sales, but alternative brands are vying for a share. Dysport® appeared a few years ago, followed by Xeomin®, but neither one has caught on in a big way. There are other products in the pipeline, such as a longer acting version from Revance. Here are a few things to know as you compare these options:
First, they all work basically the same way, and contain the same core molecule as the active ingredient. Different preparations do affect how quick the onset of action is and how long it lasts, but these are usually not major differences. The Revance product may have a few tricks up the sleeve to make it last longer, but at most this would be only a matter of weeks not months.
Why comparing doses and costs can be deceptive
The second thing to know is that comparing doses can be misleading. Most drugs are measured by weight or volume, but botulinum products (also called neuromodulators) are assessed by biological activity units. This means that a unit of Botox may not be the same as a unit of Dysport. And because dosing has to be individualized to get the same result in different patients, it isn’t realistic to shop by price per unit anyway.
Finally, it will always be important to have an experienced injector. This may be a nurse under a doctor’s supervision, or an advanced level practitioner, but skill matters in order to minimize adverse effects and achieve natural and consistent results.